When planning a renovation project, there are tons of things to consider and decisions to make, so there’s nothing better than finding a renovation or home décor blog that inspires and helps narrow down the options. To that end, we’re continuing our showcase series of the best inspirational blogs and I can tell you we’re having a lot of fun! Almost too much fun as we get lost in page upon page of gorgeous décor ideas, renovation stories, home tours and DIY projects.
And one website that constantly draws our focus is Centsational Girl, written by the fabulous Kate Riley, whose motto is “fabulous, for less”! We love that Kate is all about searching out
“diamond style on a dime, …[shopping] thrift stores, home improvement centers, and retail shops with an eye for renovating and decorating spaces, repurposing found objects, and creating new things”
That she does this with such panache is an amazing bonus!
We also love that Kate switched her life around to find her joy in interior decorating. It’s always inspiring to hear how people reinvent themselves, and in Kate’s case her previous career incarnation – as a lawyer – couldn’t be more different to her current role as “bargain hunter, design lover, renovator… incurable DIYer” and super successful home décor blogger!
Kate started writing Centsational Girl in 2009, but had already found her feet in the world of home renovation having tackled her first remodel in 2006. Since then – as well as the blog – she has gone on to complete several more remodels (currently she’s doing her own fixer home), created fabric, wallpaper and accessory lines at kateriley.net and has been featured on many respected home improvement and interiors magazines and websites such as DIY Magazine, HGTV Magazine, This Old House Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, and Design*Sponge.
So what is it about Kate that makes her blog so successful? Well, it’s not just that she likes to find great budget-friendly ideas; it’s also that she has excellent taste! If I had to describe Kate’s personal design style, I think I would call it “new traditional” – it’s a style that neatly balances real-life, practicality with gorgeous, chic beauty, blending classic furnishings with contemporary accents. And even though she keeps up to date with trends (see her great Style Files section), she doesn’t waver from choosing the versions of those trends that fit into the modern classic aesthetic she loves (for example see her choices for 2016 Kitchen and Bathroom trends).
Naturally, the clearest definition of Kate’s style is visible in her own fabric and wallpaper line where predominantly geometric and graphic floral patterns in bold colors are layered over white backgrounds. Similarly in the homes she has renovated you’ll see interior designs that are all about clean lines, light colors, white or neutral backgrounds, often accented with blues, greens and yellows. And a quick scan of her website shop – where she links to some of her favorite things – gives you a good sense of the “new traditional” furniture and accessories she loves.
What you get with Kate’s blog, which makes it so attractive, is this very defined style. This is great news from a novice renovator’s point of view, as you can simply emulate her ideas throughout your own home and end up with a very complete, whole look and interiors that flow together beautifully. Plus Kate tackles tons of renovation and DIY jobs herself, adding her own personal style to each one – like this fabulously chic DIY modern pet bed!
But the Centsational Girl blog doesn’t stop there. Outside of her own great design projects Kate also posts articles about places she’s visited, things she’s seen and collaborations she’s worked on that she knows her visitors will enjoy reading about.
We really enjoy her Weekend Reading posts where she links to all kinds of things including news stories, recipes, lifestyle articles and other blog posts that she’s come across that she feels are worth passing on. It’s a clever way of giving her readers a bit of extra value as well as an insight into what she’s interested in outside of home décor. And again, happily sharing the love, Centsational Girl also runs a series of posts called Best of the Blogosphere (or BOTB for short) where you’ll find a roundup of great décor ideas, DIY tutorials and projects from other home improvement and decorating blogs she likes.
This great combination of excellent design savvy, DIY projects, shared interests and personal insights is what makes Centsational Girl such a sensational blog (yep, of course I couldn’t resists that!). But above all, Kate’s impeccable style is what will keep you coming back to her site as a great reference point for fabulous interior design.